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Academic Architecture
2.0 Some Succinct Definitions

1. Need to establish a vocabulary of terms to describe all matters with full transparency.

2. Any academic year is divided into two equal semesters (14 to 26 weeks). These are the building blocks by which a combination of discrete semesters or a stand-alone semester make up a programme of studies leading to a final pronouncement of academic and business objectives achieved through the programme of studies. Definition of academic year is student-centric. There is no single fixed academic calendar. A semester can commence any and every day of the calendar year in principle, as one of the flexibilities. This is the concept of a labile semester , a unique feature of NIIT Career Education.

3. Each programme of studies is uniquely defined by specifying the input qualifications to the programme, duration of the programme in terms of stipulated discrete semester(s) of studies and any other special orientation this programme of studies seeks to assign.

4. Any person who has done any studies at NIIT is given a Certification . Such a person is called an NIIT alumnus.

5. An alumnus who has not taken even a full stipulated semester prescribed for programmes of studies is said to have pursued Non-career studies. On the other hand any alumnus who has at least done a minimum of one stipulated semester constituting any programme of studies is called an alumnus of the C areer education . An alumnus who has matured to avail of degree access through NA-Universities alliances is said to have reached connectivity stage/Level.

6. Since career education frankly keeps the university system of education in mind it is imperative that for a global organisation like NIIT, the input qualification for the career education should be specially spelt out in terms of university practices.

7. Since NIIT is not a university and cannot award degrees, it is important for the sake of improved communication to coin a new word in place of the word degree. The new word is Award . Further, standardisation on nomenclature is a very important requirement. Therefore, all Awards from the structure closest to the university are standardised by suffixing the word NIIT. These Awards are named suffixed Awards in the career studies.

8. Wherever the Awards are connotated by ad hoc combinations of abbreviations or acronyms, standardisation is complicated and will take time. Therefore, the system in the transition will live with multiple names for these Awards by merely designating them as non-suffixed Awards .

9. Historically, the first intersection of the NIIT Academic Structure with university took place when the structure attempted to relate to a university degree. This degree is a 3-year bachelors degree (abbreviated to BD ), for example, BSc/BCom/BA. These degrees also happen to be non-computing degrees . The market valuation of this BD is low but university valuation is considerable.

10. So far this intersection with BD has been provided by approved pursuit of the BD in a college simultaneously with NIIT semester courses. This simultaneity is defined as Dual Qualification Scheme ( DQS ). The structure also permits first acquisition of a BD followed by the pursuit of four NIIT semesters in a Sequential Scheme ( SS ). However, in practice, DQS has been commonly applied in the past to approach GNIIT and with a claim that value addition is given to the non-computing BD by linking a degree pursuit and NIIT courses in a new alignment.

11. Career education frankly adapts the university culture. What the university requires as a normal input qualification to the first baccalaureate degree of a university is expressed in terms of local expression such as 10+2 in India, A level in many countries, so on and so forth. For NIIT Career Education, a general expression that has been coined to describe the equivalent stage is Pre-University Senior Certificate (PUSRC).

12. Just as in some universities there is a statutory provision to go to the next lower level in the School System and arrange for restricted input from this stream of the School System, it is important to recognise this and name the same in the NIIT structure. This has been done by choosing the expression Pre-university Junior Certificate ( PUJRC ).

14. Nevertheless, it is to be recorded that even universities which depart from this normal practice stipulate a duration and content for the gap between PUSRC and PUJRC and require that this incompleteness is to be first removed before the fresher is allowed to begin the stipulated programme of studies. To aid in further discussion, it is proposed that this gap be called durational and content difference between PUSRC and PUJRC, ( DSJ) .

15. It may be noted in anticipation that in addition to entering the programme at the initial point there may be other points of entry determined by what is well-known as advance standing admission . Alumni from other higher education institutions with comparable educational background may seek access to NIIT Awards through advance standing admission. Academic standing of such alumni vis-·vis NIIT curriculum is evaluated through an Academic Placement Test on the basis of which the extent of advance standing is determined.

16. NIIT alumni may choose to re-enrol for pursuing higher NIIT Award. This is called “ reentry admission” as different from “advance standing admission” and does not require Academic Placement Test. Thus, the academic structure provides for multiple entry and multiple exit options.

17. All programmes of studies associated with input of PUSRC or higher belong to Domain(A). Further, the single programme of studies of concern to the alliances associated with input of PUJRC or highr belong to Domain (B). Students movement between the two Domains has been restricted through a concept of Domain Divide.

18. Likewise every programme has particular area of studies .In the case of ANIIT and FNIIT so far there are two only, IT and MHE. These are called subject area streams.

19. The overall structure recognises two broad subject area streams of current concern to Domain (A). These are IT = Information Technology and MHE = Management of Higher Education.

20. The term “stream” has been used in yet another context. Flow of students exiting at the end of programmes of studies are described as “ exiting streams” (see Diagram A and Diagram B).

21. It is interesting to note that a complex system with so many variables, options, streams, routes, etc. etc. may produce during operation, unintended outcomes although they are merely coincidental. But for a student, they are distinct educational options although not an original design requirement. For the record, some of these are listed below:
-- DNIIT+BD in DQS or SS may well become an exiting stream by the decision of the student not to complete the planned GNIIT. This stream can be easily co-listed with PNIIT as having acquired entering stream equivalence for admission to GNIIT.
-- On completion of DSJ by further efflux of time and examination, the highest Award in Domain (B), S, can be, by the same token, co-listed with DNIIT as having acquired an entering stream equivalence for admission to PNIIT.
-- Until full standardisation of non-suffixed Awards takes place, the system will have to co-exist with planned nomenclature of P, Q, R and S withmake shift nomenclatures of A, B and C. These last have been required for such students who leave suffixed Award system before completion of the lowest Award, namely DNIIT. Thus, the Awards A, B and C connote only those non-suffixed Awards where the students have already completed PUSRC. On the other hand the non-suffixed Awards P, Q, R and S are differentiated by the fact that student only completed PUJRC.
-- There is one non-suffixed Award, namely PNC, which has been accorded the same status as DNIIT. In fact, PNC as such has been renamed as DNIIT when a structural change in terms of creation of two domains of NIIT Awards was introduced recently. The NIIT Academy will treat them as interchangeable.

Some Objective Reality
Some Succinct Definitions
Some principles which determine the architecture and guide future changes
Highlights of Programs of Studies in Career Education
Role of The NIIT Academy
        

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